Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Appleseed's Birth Story

Here it is, the birth story I've been waiting and wishing to write for so many years!

It's not quite the one I pictured writing.  If you are pregnant now or planning a natural birth, I seriously suggest not reading on.  Of course, after hearing that you're probably all ears, but I warn you - it isn't all sunshine and lollipops coming.  But there is a GREAT ending.  :)


I was 11 days overdue, trying everything to naturally induce labour.  It was castor oil day, which gave me [TMI!] some serious diarrhea, at about 1pm and 3pm, and just a bit at 4pm.

Between 4-5pm I believe I went into labour.  At 5:30pm I asked DH to call the midwife, contractions were about 2 min apart, but they were about 20-30s long.

And here it is where we deviate from the birth I was picturing and hoping for.  The contractions (or surges) HURT.  I could not relax during them.  I even cried because I was 'doing it wrong', but I could just NOT relax.  Now, maybe I should have started a rainbow relaxation before then?  But I tried and I couldn't focus on it at all.

I got in the bath to see if that helped.  It didn't really.  We were doing acupressure for birth, and we did this throughout the whole birthing.  I do think it sorta helped.  It seemed to make things slightly more manageable.  For the few contractions DH was not by my side doing acupressure, I found it much harder to take.

The midwife got to our house while I was still in the bath.  I already didn't care about being naked, I was too wrapped up in the pain.  She checked the baby's heart rate while I was in the tub (Appleseed was fine), and I got out so she could see how dilated I was.  I was about 3+ cm, and the baby had moved down quite a bit.  She was surprised things had started off so well!  I would have for sure cried if there had been no progress for all that hurting, but thankfully things were rolling.  She also broke up some of my scar tissue at this time.

She decided she would set up, then leave.  They don't generally like to lurk around - it could be another 12+ hrs before show time, afterall.  It took quite a while for her to set up, which I was oblivious to.  I was focused just on each contraction, and on DH and his acupressure.  She gave me an IV bag of clinomycin around this time - it didn't take long, wasn't a big deal.

They never really slowed down to 3 min apart, and often they didn't really give me a rest in between.  I believe for a lot of women in between contractions they feel totally 'normal' - but not me, I was sore, and some of them never really felt like they quite stopped all the way.  They also didn't much lengthen to that 90s I had heard about - thankgoodness.

She left, and here things are a bit hazy for me.  I spent the next couple of hours just having regular active labour.  I had to be reminded to breathe during each surge.  It was so natural to tense up!  Really really hard to breathe.  NOT what I was expecting - "meet each surge only with your breathe" - hah!  Fail!

I was mostly laying on my side, but I did a few contractions on my hands and knees.  Didn't really matter.  I think it was around 8:30pm, I decided to get into the bath again.  Again, it didn't really help.  The contractions felt pretty much same in the tub as out of the tub.  Poot!  That too was disappointing.  I've heard a lot of tales about how the tub really helped some women, but I guess that's just not how I roll.

It was around this time I went through "the transition".  Yup, I threw up a little.  Just like you've heard!  But I hadn't really eaten much all day, it wasn't a big deal.  I was weirdly not very hungry all day.  Actually, during many of my surges I would feel quite nauseous at the peak of them, I made sure the throw up bucket was nearby at all times.

DH called the midwife and told her.  While he was on the phone my contractions changed into the start of pushing contractions, he relayed that to her.  What I really said was "I think I had the urge to push".  How that soon changed!  I had been silent all this time through all of this, but here is when I started to get loud.  Poor neighbours!

Mw arrived quite quickly (9:25pm), and I got out of the tub and went to our bedroom where she checked me.  I was 10 cm!  GREAT progress - those contractions may have hurt but they sure were working - but I didn't care.  The pushing contractions were my whole world.  I started to really yell and scream - mostly "OW" during each one.  Like, really loud.  The secondary midwife arrived (9:40pm), which I knew was good, but again, didn't really care.  I didn't even look at her for an hour, my eyes were shut.

So these contractions were SUPER overwhelming.  I can't even understand how people couldn't push.  My body I think did most of the pushing, I just helped out with what I could.  I did my pushing on my back with my legs in the air - again, not quite what I would have thought, but that's what felt best at the time.

My water blew out around sometime after this.  I will say that was kind of fun.  It was during a pushing contraction, and it was like a rocket.  Hahahha.  It felt good for like 20 seconds.

About halfway through this (10:25pm), the midwife said I had to turn to my side a bit, the left side of my pelvis was slightly tight.  I ended up doing the rest of my contractions with my leg on her shoulder!  Hah!  I'd like to see an OB do that.  :)

With every pushing contraction, she was opening my tissue or 'gently' moving my pelvis aside so this would be over faster.  And that's what REALLY hurt.  But really, there were no flowery thoughts during the pushes.  I honestly could only think "get out of here".  Poor baby! 

The midwife did coach me with pushing, but I kinda ignored her.   Maybe this is what Hypnobirthig meant?  Some contractions I had two pushes in me, some had three, some had four.  And yes, I didn't breathe at all during pushing.  But it felt kinda good.  At least I had some serious relief in between these ones, that really helped.  The rest period really was restful.  And I needed it, to catch my breathe and take a sip of water.

After each a surge she would often say "good, CS, she moved down quite a bit during that one".  That was encouraging.  :)  Although I think 'quite a bit' meant 1 mm.

At 11:18pm, she finally came out.  And that's how it felt.  Finally.   The heavens didn't sing quite like I'd imagined!  There was no magical rush of endorphins. 

The Placenta came at 11:25pm, I declined the shot of Pitocin - I had to push it out a bit.

All in all it was a short but hard labour.  In fact, even though she's on vacation now, my midwife came over today to visit, and re-iterated that fact.  I had a really hard labour.  The theory is everyone gets the same 'cup of pain', but a more usually the first labour usually takes much longer so is less intense.  She was really proud of me, which was nice.  She was impressed I didn't ask for pain killers - but...I know there is nothing they can do at home, and it was too late to go to the hospital (and I didn't want to go anyway), so even in my half crazed state, that wouldn't have made sense for me to ask.  I just wanted it done.

Sadly, either Hypnobirthing failed me or I failed Hypnobirthing.  I am really disappointed with that.  And kind of resentful?

It was nice that my body really did know what to do.  It wasn't painless by any means, it was brutal.  But I never stalled at any point, and all the contractions made headway.  So despite all that nasty endo I had last year, I seem to have a GREAT birthing body.

And the main conclusion - Appleseed is super.  Her heart rate was good the whole time.  She got an APGAR score of 9/10.  She was lovely and pink and alert.  For all this, I am glad we had a home birth, I wouldn't change it.  And now my sweet pea still hasn't been to a hospital - awesome.  :)

My perineum is intact, which somewhat seemed to astound my midwife - she really thought I was at risk for a 3-4th degree tear.  Massage your perineum, ladies!  I did have some other tearing, and have a few stitches.  That continued to suck a bit after the birth.


Here I am 9 days later, just adding in some details (times) before I post.  Man!  The memory of the pain is indeed fading - but it took a good few days for those memories to go down at all!  At the time I was totally all for having only one baby, or getting an epidural next time.  Who knows, I might.  I would describe my birth as slightly traumatic, actually.  Overwhelming.  Thankgoodness for fading memories.


  1. Don't be too bummed about the Hynobirthing. We did Hypnobabies with my second daughter. She came extremely quickly; contractions started at about three minutes about for about a minute each. I ended up with an epidural because it was so intense. My instructor later told me that there was no way Hypnobabies could have worked with how quickly labor came on. Sounds like it was the same for you.

  2. I don't know anything about Hypnobirthing, well, I guess beyond what I have read about here. But what I do know is that you are most certainly no failure and to go through that with no drugs is truly amazing in my book. I am "hook me up to the epidural in the parking lot" kind of gal and during my labor with Elizabeth, the epidural wore off for about 30 minutes and I seriously thought there is no way I could handle that for the entire length of the labor. Also, my SIL is a labor & delivery nurse at a hospital and she has said to me more than once, that birthing plans rarely go according to plan - because every mother and baby is different.

    And the most important thing is - little Appleseed is here and she is amazing and you are and your DH are so blessed! Thanks for sharing your birth story with us, I loved reading it!

  3. So glad you shared! Why do you feel like you failed? To me it sounds VERY successful! You were able to birth at home with no meds! That's huge!!!! Labor is INTENSE! And yes, it does hurt. I discovered too that it's SO hard to apply the practices when you're actually in labor. Much harder than I expected. It sounds like you did beautifully. I felt like, even though I had tremendous pain and did have an epi eventually, that HB helped keep me calm throughout the rollercoaster. But I get what you mean--you watch these videos in the classes about these women giving birth serenely in tubs of water without making a sound...and it's not like that for everybody! You are a warrior, mama! Be proud of yourself and snuggle that sweet little Appleseed, who it sounds like is tough just like her mama!

  4. Wow, so amazing! Quite an ordeal and very painful! I'm sorry things didn't work out as planned. From other ladies I've spoken with, it's normal to feel disappointed/resentful when that happens. *hugs* But you did an awesome job momma - I'm very proud of you. You did one of the most difficult things ever, and you made it through! She's here and she's healthy and perfect! Well done!

  5. Wholly Crap! I am traumatized just reading this!! You are amazing..I could have never done that. Soooooo inspired by you!


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